Hey! Celebrities are smart, nice and hard-working people too!
When I heard that Billy Bush was the guest on the next Wednesday mini-internship at 837NYC organized by Samsung, I was like, “Great! … Who is Billy Bush?”
When I asked about the next guest last Wednesday, the guy sitting next to me, Richard, was very excited to announce, that it was Billy Bush we were to meet, then he added, “This guy doesn’t need an introduction”.
I didn’t want to disappoint Richard at first — I actually had no idea who Billy Bush was and shared none of the excitement Richard had about seeing Billy Bush live next week. But then I got curious who was that Billy Bush that everyone seemed to be so excited about?
As it turned out, Billy Bush is somewhat a celebrity in radio/TV world (I’m not into either as you might guess). Billy was a host of “Access Hollywood” for 15 years (I haven’t seen a single episode as you might imagine), and 3 days ago, as Billy shared, he joined NBC “Today” for its 9 o’clock hour here on the East coast — that is supposedly a big event in the media/news world of US.
Don’t blame me for my lack of knowledge of celebrity, news, media world — I’m from Russia, recently moved to NYC and, and in spite of what US, New York, Hollywood might think, outside of US those “BIG” names mean very little to anyone.
But in any case, I’m a lifelong learner, eager to learn from anyone and everything. I Googled who Billy Bush was. And the guy, as it turns out was kind of a big deal and, using the words of Billy himself, “There is a reason why people are where they are. BIG ones [celebrity type of people] are big for a reason.” — there was definitely a lot I could learn from this media guy (the nickname Billy got in my brain), and it was well worth my couple of hours at Samsung mini-internship at 837NYC.
And I was totally right.
Not only Billy Bush has an amazing personality (Would be weird if he didn’t being a TV/radio star), Billy Bush is a self-starter who built himself from ground up, put into himself and his craft more work than lots and lots of people and he definitely has lots of fascinating stories to tell and lots of life/work wisdom to share.
What are the main takeaways I took home from the event?
“There is a reason why people are where they are. Big ones [celebrities] are big for a reason”
People on the top are there, because of the immense immeasurable love for what they do and hours and hours of practice, mastery of the craft they put into developing their work and developing themselves. There are “lucky” hits, but they don’t stay at the top for long.
Luck comes and go. Mastery is forever.
“Radio was my first love”
I couldn’t not notice how often for Billy the words love and work were interchangeable. For Billy there was never a question about doing something for money or doing something he loved. It was all and the same. He followed his heart, chose to do what he really loved doing, took every opportunity that presented itself and worked his ass off pursuing his love, his work, mastering his craft, doing better job every single time.
Some of Billy’s work related principles.
“Be willing to do anything. First in — last out.”
“Be willing to build yourself from the ground up”.
Billy believes that “building of a vocation, the drive to build something from scratch is a lost craft”.
“Figure out what you are good at and what you are not”
One of the best pieces of advice Billy received comes from his father,
“Try to have an idea about what you’re doing by the time you’re 30” — I personally absolutely loved it. I’m 29 now and just recently landed in New York after traveling the world for 6 years, being a self-starter, a self-employed professional, a creativepreneur. Now I finally got it — what it is I want to do. After all this wandering I can really focus on different projects being laser focused on what I really love doing, knowing all my strengths to rely on and weaknesses to turn into strengths and advantages.
On finding your passion.
“Try things, try stuff — that’s the way to go”
Some people, when I tell them what I do and what I’m passionate about tell me, “You are so lucky, you found what you love” — Is it really luck though?
When did you last try something new? When was the last time you did something you really loved doing not because you needed to make a living with it, or because you could make it into something productive eventually, but because you really loved it? Just loved doing it.
That’s the only way to find your passion — you got to try stuff all the time. It’s my regular practice — trying stuff, going places, seeing people, exposing myself to new experiences. That’s also where lots of my creativity comes from. And that what seems to be common for all of the successful people I met. They stumble upon something they really enjoy doing while trying stuff. And then they are not afraid to stick with it long enough to get good at it “missing out” on all the other stuff that comes and go.
Billy’s advice on how to achieve success, once you found your passion?
“You got to be the most hard-working person in the room”
“There will be situations, that you just need to get through, whether you like it or not”
Don’t be fooled, thinking that you only get to do what you really like once you find your passion. Everyone gets their amount of “shit sandwiches” (from “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert), that one has to eat, if one wants to master their thing, their passion.
“Don’t ever stop”
“Persistence is everything. You’ll never get an order, if you don’t ask for it”
No wonder Billy got to the top with such a great work ethic and so much love for his craft, his work!
Reminded me of a comic I stumbled upon recently, by Zen Pencils, “Work is love made visible”.
And last but not least.
Importance of relationships, people, building a network to be successful at anything in life.
I’ve never met a successful person in my entire life who made it on their own without their network of support, people around them that walked the path with them, people they relied on. And Billy believes it is crucial to his success, to anyone’s success.
Networking. Genuine connections. Networking, when you give and receive, surrounding yourself with people you truly love and appreciate, people you work with and build your life with.
“Everything is networking”
“You got to feed the network. You can’t be the asker all the time. You need to give back.”
What I really loved hearing, (Just melted my heart), that really shows what an amazing person Billy Bush is,
“When you have a clean shot to do something for someone — do it”
If the whole world lived by this rule — we’d be living in heaven on Earth already. Heaven, where everyone does their thing for their own and greater good, helping and supporting each other.
Sometimes, we might think, that the world of media and Hollywood is somewhat shallow, (Guilty of that, not denying it), but then you meet people like Billy Bush. You hear their stories, their struggles, challenges, hard work, reasons behind their work, and that completely changes your mind
…And some of us might even enjoy some more TV. Sometimes.
If not — GO!